It’s funny what suddenly clicks when a place you have been wanting to leave, becomes a place you will leave very soon. It’s as if, up until that moment, you weren’t quite permitted to feel too much affection for it, so focused were you on getting out of it. Now that I know we’re getting out, this apartment, this home, feels strangely vulnerable, like I need to give it a hug and assure it that we did love it, we do, even though we’re packing it up and doing all we can to leave it.
Our apartment looks particularly vulnerable at the moment, stripped of its paintings and posters, the shelves completely – and somewhat embarrassed about it – empty, standing there apologetically. The fresh white paint is so white, and the moving boxes are their usual ugly and bottomless selves. Do you always pack them and then think, ‘everything I own cannot possibly be in those boxes …’ at the same time as thinking, ‘surely I don’t need or use all of this stuff.’?
We’ll never live here again – and I can say that with the confidence of living with a north German who will do everything in his power to never live in the south again. And, while this has been an important and significant experience for me in my own German adventure, I won’t be living here again out of choice either. It is a beautiful, historical corner of the world, Bavaria, but it isn’t my corner. I know that now.
I’m not sure what I’ll miss about living down here – yet. I’ll probably manage to gather a whole list of things as we drive out of here in just a week’s time. And if it isn’t things I miss about this place, that will jolt some sort of thought, it will be the very real knowledge that this time of my life that is coming to a close, in due time for what lies ahead. A lot happened down here, for me, for us, it is a period of time that holds an awful lot of memories and this place, for all the faults we found with it, has kept them all safe and sound, even when we were struggling with living here, even when we were planning to leave. This place, as a name, represents something bigger than our actual affection for it, which is a curious thing.
So we’ll keep packing up our naked little flat, keep moving towards getting out of here. And these funny little things will keep clicking as the days count down to leaving this corner of the country.